The Vodka Soda is pretty much the un-cocktail. It’s typically meant to be as tasteless and chuggable (is that a word?) as possible. Admittedly, most of the time when I thought of a Vodka Soda, I thought of a drink meant to induce drunkenness with as few calories as possible. And that’s about it. I definitely dismissed it altogether for a while there. But it was actually my aversion to it made me want to do some tweaking and throw a few back in the name of R&D. After trying a bunch of easy variations, I’m ready to stand behind the Vodka Soda as a really fun and delicious cocktail template.
August is here, and in southern New Hampshire, the ripe, crimson cones of sumac trees are dotting the edges of roadways and fields everywhere you look. The Staghorn sumac, or Rhus typhina, is very easy to identify thanks to those spiky red cones coated in fuzzy fibers, reminiscent of velvety deer antlers. Sometimes confused with Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix), the staghorn, smooth, and winged sumacs that grow throughout the US are actually all edible – and quite delicious! Fortunately, there is no confusing the edible from the non-edible sumacs, as Poison sumac produces white berries, and edible varieties produce red ones.
It’s a brand new year and that means two things: setting new goals and getting back on track with old ones! One of my goals this year is to return to the healthy eating habits I strayed from during my pregnancy (morning sickness put me on a carb heavy diet). After my daughter was born, it was just too easy to continue eating quick and less than nutritious meals on a regular basis. After a long day, and especially with a new baby, easy wins. Now that Isla is a toddler, easy is still winning on most nights. So that’s why my New Year’s eating plan is made up of delicious, fresh, and very healthy meals that are also super quick and easy!
Chances are, when you think of a Screwdriver, you think of…well, a pretty uninspired cocktail. Perhaps one of the least loved and universally unappealing of the two-ingredient cocktail recipes, the Screwdriver is a simple combination of vodka and orange juice. Sharply acidic while still tasting quite bland, there’s admittedly not much to love. I guess it’s the unlovable nature of the Screwdriver and it’s incredibly simple template that drew me to try to re-imagine it in clarified form. Plus, I really wanted to see if it would turn out completely clear.
In this new series, Meet the Mixologist, I’m interviewing some of my favorite mixologists of Instagram to find out where they find inspiration, how they got their start, and what advice they’d offer to someone just developing an interest in craft cocktails.